The Q&A Archives: Climbing Plants for Shade

Question: I am putting an old farm wagon in the back corner of my yard. It is really shaded and I'm not sure what plants to use to cover it. If you could give me some suggestions it would be greatly appreciated! Thank you very much for your time!

Answer: Few climbers thrive in the dark, but the following climbing vines for shade will do well in garden spots that don't get a lot of sun.

Boston ivy, Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus species): Both are deciduous climbers for shade that turn red in fall. Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), hardy from Zones 3 to 9, is extremely vigorous and can grow 10 feet a year when established, growing about 30 to 50 feet tall. Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata), is hardy from Zones 4 to 8. It also grows vigorously
and gets about as tall as Virginia creeper.

Both are self-clinging climbing vines for shade with suction cup holdfasts. Of these two climbers, Boston ivy is the less rampant grower, but Virginia creeper is hardier in cold weather regions.

Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala subspecies petiolaris): This is an attractive deciduous vine with lace-cap like clusters of large white flowers in midsummer. Roots produced on stems will attach the plant to supports.

Hardy from Zones 4 to 8, it can be slow to establish, but will grow 25 feet tall or more if it has a good wall to climb. It can, of course, be pruned to keep it smaller. It's a lovely climbing vine for shade, but will do well in sun too.

Five-leaf akebia (Akebia quinata): This is a fast-growing deciduous climbing vine for shade that will also do well in the sun. Hardy to Zones 5 to 8, it has attractive glossy leaves and small purple flowers in mid-spring. It makes a terrific screen and will grow 30 to 40 feet if allowed to ramble.

Hope one of these is just right for your landscape.

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by plantmanager and is called "Captivating Caladiums"